It is quite simple: employers cannot discriminate against employees based on a disability.
And yet, it is still common to hear about such discrimination in the workplace. Even though you have protections under federal and state laws if you have a physical or mental impairment, you might still face unfair and unreasonable discrimination.
So, what should employees know?
What kind of discrimination could employees face?
Disability discrimination can come in many forms, including:
- Not hiring someone due to their disability
- Consistent comments or jokes about one’s condition
- Regular harassment that creates a hostile work environment
- Refusal to provide reasonable accommodations
Unlike many other protected classes of employees, employees with disabilities have a right to certain accommodations so they can work. If they do not get those accommodations, it could be a form of discrimination.
What kind of accommodations do employees have a right to?
The failure to provide reasonable accommodations is often the most common issue that employees with disabilities face.
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to adjust the workplace and reasonably meet the employee’s needs. This might include:
- Adding accessible wheelchair ramps;
- Obtaining documents in Braille;
- Providing employees places to sit while they work;
- Adjusting the work schedule; and
- Allowing service animals on site.
Some California employers might try to get away with not accommodating employees. That is why it is critical that employees understand their rights and entitlements under the law.
In these cases, it is also beneficial to consult an experienced employment attorney. That way, you can ensure you protect your rights and obtain the accommodations you deserve.